10 Most Stolen Cars in 2016

Man breaking into a vehicle

What are the 10 most commonly stolen cars and trucks? The answer is in the latest Hot Wheels report published by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). The report lists the ten vehicles that were most frequently stolen in 2016. As in previous years, Hondas and American-made pickup trucks head the list.

Top 10 Stolen Vehicles

Here are the cars and trucks that made the top 10 list of vehicle thefts in 2016. The list shows the year, make and model of each vehicle as well as the number of autos that were stolen during the year.

Vehicle # Stolen
1 1997 Honda Accord 50,427
2 1998 Honda Civic 49,547
3 2006 Ford Full-size Pickup 32,721
4 2004 Chevrolet Full-size Pickup 31,238
5 2016 Toyota Camry 16,732
6 2015 Nissan Altima 12,221
7 2001 Dodge Full-Size Pickup 12,128
8 2015 Toyota Corolla 11,989
9 2008 Chevrolet Impala 9,749
10 2000 Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee 9,245

Why These Vehicles Were Targeted

You can see from the table that Honda Accords and Civics were stolen in far greater numbers than the other vehicles on the list. Accords and Civics have been popular for years. Because there are millions of them on the road, they are easy targets for thieves. Most of the Accords and Civics that were stolen in 2016 were 1990s models. Many were likely taken for parts. These cars are easy to steal because they lack the anti-theft devices found on modern cars.

Three vehicles on the top ten list are pickups and one (the Jeep) is a sport utility vehicle. All of these vehicles are popular because of their size and versatility. They are used by both businesses and individuals. Their large size makes them conspicuous and easily spotted by thieves.

The Hot Wheels list includes two newer-model Toyotas (the Camry and the Corolla) and the 2015 Nissan Altima.  Some of these vehicles may have been stolen for parts. Others may have been resold, either in the U.S. or overseas. Toyota has produced the Camry, in various iterations, since 1982. Like the Honda Accord and Civic, the Camry is very popular. Camrys are vulnerable to theft because thieves have so many of them to choose from.

The fact that three late-model cars are on the Hot Wheels list may seem surprising. These cars were equipped with modern anti-theft technology. Clearly, technology alone won't prevent all thefts. Some of these cars may have been stolen by hackers. However, others were likely taken because the keys were left inside. Many thieves are opportunists. To a thief, a vehicle with a key inside is a gift too good to pass up.

Auto Theft Hot Spots

In addition to the nationwide Hot Wheels report, the NICB has published a 2016 Hot Spots report. The report ranks metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the U.S. by auto theft rate. Here are the tops ten Hot Spots for vehicle thefts in 2016. 

2016 Rank MSA Name 2016 Thefts 2016 Rank
1 Albuquerque, NM 10,01 114.01
2 Pueblo, CO 1,325 899.43
3 Bakersfield, CA 7,176 854.66
4 Modesto, CA 3,820 767.69
5 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 25,708 679.05
6 Anchorage, AK 2,273 669.38
7 Merced, CA 1,622 660.65
8 San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA 29,414 640.26
9 Fresno, CA 5,682 631.79
10 Billings, MT 877 625.38

Most-Stolen 2016 Models

The NICB's Hot Wheels report also includes a list of the ten most stolen 2016 model vehicles. The following were "thieves' choice" in 2016. 

Vehicle # Stolen
Toyota Camry 1,113
Nissan Altima 1,063
Toyota Corolla 982
Dodge Charger 945
Ford Fusion 914
Hyundai Sonata 887
GMC Sierra 884
Hyundai Elantra 832
Ford Pickup (Full Size) 738
Ford Transit 669

Interestingly, neither the Honda Accord nor the Civic appears on the 2016 model year list. Instead, the list includes two Toyotas, two Hyundais, and two Fords. Thieves' preferences may have changed.

Protect Yourself Against Theft Losses

It is important to protect your business against auto theft losses whether or not your vehicles appear on the Hot Wheels list. Here are some easy steps you can take to discourage thieves.

  • Lock your vehicle!  An unlocked auto is an invitation to a thief.
  • Don't leave keys inside an unattended vehicle! This may seem obvious but many vehicles are stolen with the keys inside.
  • Install an anti-theft-device. Many modern vehicles have a built-in alarm or "smart key" system. If your vehicle doesn't have one, try using a theft deterrent such as a steering wheel lock, brake lock, or engine immobilizer.
  • Purchase physical damage coverage for your vehicles under your commercial auto policy.